We haven’t always lived the class A motorhome life. We started our camping habit in a tent back in 2009. The kids were 8, 6, 5, 3, 2, and 1. We had an 8 person tent and a couple air mattresses. I had 3 babies in diapers and I bathed them in a Rubbermaid tub. It was work. A lot of work. We usually went camping 6 times each summer. They were short trips, weekends, 2-3 nights. We camped with friends which helped when it came to meal prep. The kids loved it and I was so exhausted afterward that there were times I would have to pull over on the side of the road on our hour drive home to sleep. The friends we camped with had pop ups and travel trailers. They insisted I should get a pop-up camper. I resisted because I couldn’t imagine doing all the work of setting up a pop-up on my own. We extended the lengths of our trips as the years went on and the kids got a little bigger.
I finally caved in early 2013. I bought a pop-up and I wondered what on earth took me so long. It was a simple, no frills camper. We didn’t have a fridge or a toilet or anything fancy. But we had beds off the ground, a solid roof over our heads, and storage space. Getting a pop ready was infinitely easier than setting up an 8 person tent. Packing was easier, storage was easier. I don’t know how I fit everything into our suburban when we tent camped. 7 people and their clothes plus all the equipment and food all stuffed into one vehicle. With the pop-up, I could keep chairs and other necessities right in the pop-up and just worry about packing clothes and food. We could also go on longer camping trips and we could extend our year. We started doing 6 weeks of camping instead of 6 weekends. We took longer trips too, weeks at a time, in our pop-up, as far as the Jersey Shore, D.C., and Virginia Beach.
In late 2016, we added a travel trailer to the mix. In the summers, we kept it on a friend’s property in the Finger Lakes with woods and a creek and friends near by. In the winters, we kept it at the bottom of the ski slopes. It was our weekend getaway, our vacation home, our ski chalet, and my hunting cabin, all rolled into one. We still used the pop up for camping trips with friends, but the travel trailer was our home away from home.
We will return to that life when we return from our trip. We love camping and we love NYS campgrounds. But for the cross country trip, we got Ace, our class A motorhome. He’s a temporary possession with a purpose. When he leaves us, our camper and pop-up will be waiting to pick up right where we left off!
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*pic- our pop-up